I love being a mom.
Taking care of my baby. Feeding her. Reading her books. Teaching her new things.
Since my baby's been born, most of my conversations revolve around the baby.
It's easy to get lost in this new role. To have it take over your life.
You're excited to be a parent. You want to be the best parent you can be. So you learn everything you can about being a parent. You google the next phase in your child's life to best prepare. You talk to other parents about parenting. You get your child all the best things for his or her development.
To become the best parent, sometimes you need to recognize the importance of taking a step back. Remembering who you were. Nurturing yourself. So you can be in the right mindset to be an effective parent. Because you don't want to overstress and burn out. That's not good for you or your baby.
You need self-care. To give yourself time to breathe. Reflect. Reset. Self-care is an important part of your mental and physical health.
Here are 5 self-care tips for parents:
1) Make time for yourself: If you feel like you don't have time, simplify your life so you can carve out time. It's all about prioritization. If you prioritize yourself, you'll make time for yourself.
2) Give yourself treats: Give yourself that favorite coffee or tea in the morning. Turn on the music you love. Watch the TV show or movie you've been putting off. Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference. If you're a new mom, you'll need to give yourself that postpartum self-care for a quicker recovery.
3) Give yourself goals: You need to recognize that you're a separate person from your child. If your happiness is linked to your child, you're creating a dependency that's not healthy for anyone. To create that separate identity, you can give yourself goals. You can try new hobbies and pursue new passions. During my maternity leave, I started a blog and it's been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.
4) Ask for help: Don't forget that you're not alone. You have your partner, family and friends. You have a support system so use it. It doesn't make you any less of a person when you ask for help. If anything you're a smarter and more confident person for recognizing that you have resources.
5) Take time away from your baby: This is hard especially if you're a new parent. Time away from your baby is good for you. You could start with 10 minutes a day. Maybe it's a walk around the block or a bath. Eventually, you want to work up to a couple of hours. Perhaps go on a date night. Your baby needs to learn to be independent anyways. You need that separate time and space to think about yourself.
6) Lower your expectations: Part of being good to yourself is understanding your situation. You might not be able to clean your house the way you did before. And that's fine. You're doing the best you can. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.
If you want to read more about my journey, check out www.mommoneymap.com. I write about making and saving more money, frugal living and parenting money tips.